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Associate, King's College, London, F.R.G.S., &c.



Ent. Stat. Hall.)

i March 1869.

(All rights reserved.



SHAT half-living thing-a book : may be re

garded in many ways. It may be considered
in connection with the circumstances which

led to its conception and creation; and in the midst of which it appeared. It may be studied, as exhibiting the moral intent, the mental power of its author. Its contents may be analysed as to their intrinsic truthfulness or falsity. We may trace and identify its influence upon its own age and on succeeding generations. This is an apprehension of the mind of a book.

More than this. We may examine its style, its power and manner of expressing that mind. The ringing collocation of its words, the harmonious cadence of its sentences, the flashing gem-like beauty of isolated passages, the just mapping out of the general argument, the due subordination of its several parts, their final inweaving into one overpowering conclusion: these are the features, discovering, illuminating, enforcing the mind of a book.

Much of what is in books is false, much only half true, much true. It is impossible to separate the tares from the wheat. Every one, therefore-of necessity— must read discriminatively; often lifting and searching for first principles, often testing the catenation of an argument, often treasuring up incidental truths for future use; enjoying—as delights by the way-whatever felicity of expression, gorgeousness of imagination, vividness of description, or aptness of illustration may glance, like sunshine, athwart the path : the journey's end being Truth.

The purpose through these English Reprints is to bring this modern age face to face with the works of our forefathers. The Editor and his clumsy framework

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